A lot has happened this week. The Indians released Chris Perez, re-signed Jason Giambi, and traded for Colt Hynes. Naturally, it stands to reason that I would probably ask the staff about any one of these topics for this week’s Wroundtable discussion. Well, that would be wrong, mainly because I came up with the question well before any of that happened. Instead, I asked them all to weigh in on the other major news of the week – the renaming of the Akron Aeros to the Akron Rubber Ducks. Here’s what they had to say.
Michael Chaney: At first, I didn’t really like the name. I can admit that. I thought it made the team sound like too much of a pushover (it would be difficult to be scared of facing the RubberDucks), and I was such a fan of the name “Akron Aeros” that I didn’t want to see it changed (plus, I was a huge fan of the purple and black uniforms). But the more I hear it, the more I like it. Not only does it pay homage to Akron’s connection to rubber and tires, but it’s also an extremely unique name. “Aeros” was also unique, but I think that this can be mentioned among teams like the Modesto Nuts (A+ of the Rockies) and Montgomery Biscuits (AA, Rays) as one of the cooler names in minor league baseball. I’m also a huge fan of the logo (complete with tire tracks) and the color scheme of light blue and yellow. I’m sad to see that the Akron Aeros are no longer, but I’m excited to see the era of the Akron Rubber Ducks begin. I’m also excited to see a match-up of the Akron RubberDucks and Richmond Flying Squirrels (AA, Giants) this year in the Eastern League.
By the way, if you want to see a humorous reaction on the name change from a player’s perspective, check out pitcher Kieran Lovegrove‘s Twitter account.
Jeff Mount: I expect to see ducks standing outside the Akron stadium on opening day carrying signs. Aflac may sign on as a sponsor, though. The fact that they are liable to give out squeaky toys at any game which will then be squeezed in unison will not make me more likely to attend games.
Ed Carroll: The RubberDucks name is growing on me. I’d like to see some uniforms before completely sounding off on the idea, but if they could find a way to work this in as their 8th-inning anthem (ala “Hang on Sloopy” for the Indians or “Sweet Caroline” for the Boston Red Sox), I might just buy season tickets.
Katrina Putnam: Calling themselves the Akron RubberDucks is completely ridiculous, therefore it’s the perfect minor league team name. No one wants to be a RubberDuck, so it will inspire all the players to do whatever it takes to get promoted out of there.
In all seriousness, the logic behind it is a nice tribute to the city, and they actually came up with a very cool logo. Not to mention, it’s kind of a sports writer’s dream in terms of potential headlines. There are so many puns just waiting to be made. And it could always be worse — at least they’re not the Rail Riders. Or the Sand Gnats. Or the Chihuahuas…there’s no way to make a six-pound dog seem intimidating.
Brian Heise: I already laid out my opinions on the matter earlier this week, but for the sake of consistency I’ll provide a recap. At first, I hated. I thought it was a terrible idea. By lunch time I was completely on board with the idea of the RubberDucks. The logo is cool, the colors are refreshing and way better than the purple abomination they were currently using, and the name is just the right amount of ridiculous for minor league baseball. I can’t wait to see the uniform designs they decide to go with but I’m terrified that I’m going to be disappointed. All in all, though, it was a refreshing move and one that most people should learn to love over time.